25 Feb

Our Next Course

Nature Play & the Therapeutic Space (Two day training)

Information and Pricing

Useful Forest School Training FAQ’s


Level 3 Certificate in Forest School Programme Leadership - FAQ’s

Circle of Life Training is working in association with Circle of Life Rediscovery. We offer Forest School Level 3 Programme Leadership in the Republic of Ireland.

Who are the trainers?

Our training team includes Marina Robb, Anna Richardson and Mark Lloyd, supported by Ciara Hinksman and Hugh McLindon from Ireland.

We are all qualified Forest School Leaders with backgrounds in teaching, nature connection and woodland management. We have together over 40 year’s experience working outdoors and across different ages and backgrounds.

Marina and Anna are authors of the popular, ‘Learning with Nature: A how-to guide to inspiring children through games and activities’.

Who is the training for?

Our trainee’s come from a wide range of backgrounds including teaching, outdoor/nature/bushcraft education, organisations who work with young people, or with challenging and vulnerable backgrounds. Trainee’s need to be over 21 years old and have 2 year’s experience working with young people.

Why do we support this approach?

There is a growing understanding of the importance of play and the outdoors for children’s health and well-being and capacity to learn.   Research into the brain science reinforces how exploration and taking risks in the outdoors and during childhood, grows networks that support us into adulthood. Furthermore, we believe that providing opportunities for people to experience nature, is a pre-requisite for caring for nature.

How much work is there involved in this training?


The whole training takes about one year to complete. During that time you will have 9 face to face training days, which include all the practical and planning skills for Forest School; child development theory, observation and listening to children; the benefits of the outdoors and play; creating your Forest school handbook: policies and risk assessments; woodland stewardship and management.


Our aim is to equip you to provide a safe, fun and professional experience for young people outdoors, that above all keep you and your groups inspired and curious about life, learning and nature. This does mean that you are required to put in considerable hours on the home-study (approximately 115 hours outside of direct teaching) to research and complete your Units.


We offer our training across the seasons to enable you to experience nature and experience what’s possible at different times of year! As members of the Forest School Association UK we follow the Forest School Principles and maintain high standards.


In addition to this, if you do not already hold a current REC2/Wilderness First Aid certificate you will need to attend a two day outdoor First Aid Training.


What is ‘the pilot’? 


Everyone who trains as a Forest School facilitator runs 6 free Forest School sessions as part of their training. You find and assess woodland/nature space, and plan and deliver forest school sessions that are based on your observations of the children. You write this up and it forms part of your assessment.


You will need to be covered by insurance to do this – it is highly recommended you carry out your Pilot sessions within an established organisation or school. It’s a good idea to think about options in advance, and we can support you to find a suitable placement.


We encourage you to work alongside other learning practitioners, creating peer support during your ‘Pilot 6 sessions’. Learning by doing, getting as much experience as possible will increase your confidence.


What can I do once I have the qualification?

Forest School leaders work in schools, colleges, charities, early years, nature-based organisations, social services, play work, and independently. As a qualified facilitator, you will be able to take out groups of young people, families and adults outdoors enabling then to discover the natural world, themselves, increase their learning, confidence and sense of well being.


This training provides a complete foundation to working in nature with groups of children of all ages and capabilities. You will learn to bring in skills you have learned (e.g fire making, shelter building, using ropes & tools, songs & foraging) when appropriate, and trust your own knowledge of the children to provide and support experiences and play opportunities that build from their own interests.

I have paediatric/occupational first aid, do I still need Outdoor First Aid?

Yes, you still need to be Outdoor First Aid trained even if you already have paediatric training/occupational first aid. The reason is that Forest School is typically held away from road access therefore emergency services may need to call in other rescue services to do a stretcher carry which can take more time. Also, outdoor first aid is more specific to what happens at Forest School.

How do I get Garda Vetted?

Currently, in Ireland you can not be vetted as a private individual, unless you have been through an Early Years training course where you can get a letter from the administration to say you are vetted.


If you are not currently vetted, you can arrangement this with the school or service you offer your pilot sessions to. Please leave enough time to do this.

Is this part of my in-service hours?

No, this certificate is not part of your in-service hours.

If you have any more questions:

Please email: Marina on [email protected] or mobile: 07966 514469